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Israel: Ethical Sanctions for Non-Compliance with State Comptroller Law

(Jan. 31, 2011) On January 25, 2011, the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) passed an amendment to the State Comptroller Law, 5718-1958 (consolidated version). The amendment was designed to improve the audit of public bodies conducted by the State Comptroller and improve the review of implementation of recommendations made in his audit report. Public bodies that are subject to the State Comptroller's audit include government offices, local authorities, and state unions. The audit may apply, to the extent necessary, to income and expenses, documentation, and verification of whether the audited bodies operated with integrity and efficiency, among other matters.

The Law imposes a duty on the head of an audited body to appoint a team that will be tasked with correcting errors listed in the State Comptroller's report. The Law further requires that person to report to the State Comptroller or to the Prime Minister, as determined by the Law, on ways to correct these errors. The January 2011 amendment strengthens the role of the State Comptroller by stipulating that non-compliance in respect to these duties, in the absence of a reasonable justification, will constitute a disciplinary offense in accordance with the disciplinary rules that apply to the particular audited body. This provision will enable the State Comptroller to inform the Attorney General of errors disclosed during the audit. The Attorney General will then be under the obligation, within six months from the time of notification, to inform the Knesset State Control Committee and the State Comptroller of the means selected for implementing the recommendations. (State Comptroller Law, 5718-1958 (consolidated version), 12 LAWS OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL [authorized texts of translation of laws] 107 (5718-1958), as amended; State Comptroller Law (Amendment No. 44) 5771-2011 [in Hebrew], the Knesset website, (last visited Jan. 28, 2011).)